Author: Sterling Hawkins
Can you imagine When to Say No?
It doesn’t sound right, does it?
Ironically enough, that’s exactly what might be necessary to set you and your business up to achieve success.
Anyone that knows chicken, has at least heard of Chick-fil-A and their famous chicken sandwiches served across locations in 48 states in the US. My nieces are huge fans and if you haven’t tried it, you need to. The fast food restaurant features a simple menu and good customer service, founded in the 40’s by S. Truett Cathy.
And like most successful businesses (maybe all) they had a clear vision beyond just standard business practices. A vision grounds the company in a direction that the founder(s) intend. A business without a vision can lack soul and purpose and leave people wondering…why?
As a devout Southern Baptist, a lot of how the company operates is heavily influenced by those beliefs. Agree with it or not, Truett’s vision is “to glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us. To have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.”
It takes more than just having a vision. It takes standing for it #NoMatterWhat, something I call Getting a Tattoo. Getting a Tattoo is committing yourself so deeply to a vision, that you’re permanently changed by it. When you have a vision that’s that strong, it starts to guide your actions and therefore your results. Importantly, it’s guiding your actions beyond just how to generate revenue. After all you can’t just get rid of a tattoo.
Chick-fil-A was so clear on their vision, every single thing he and the company does is put through that filter. And if something didn’t fit the filter, it wasn’t accepted. Most places you go to eat they say: “How can I help you?” Nothing wrong with that. Never thought of it before, but it doesn’t pass the, so called, tattoo test for Cathy. Rather when you go to Chick-Fil-A they ask: “How can I serve you?” Small change, but all of a sudden he’s all in on his vision.
Sometimes standing for your vision might directly conflict with profits. And you know what you do? Stand for the vision anyway. You heard me right: say no to revenue when it conflicts with your vision. You’ll need to have practice exercising that discomfort muscle, because it might bring some heat you’ll have to withstand.
For Cathy, he knew that most every place is open on Sunday. There are countless customers that would love his famous chicken sandwiches as a Sunday brunch. But his tattoo was first and foremost “to glorify God.” So flying in the face of additional profits, Cathy, to this day, has Chick-fil-A closed on Sundays.
Cathy committed so deeply he stakes his career and his company on that vision. And you know what? It worked (whether you agree with his vision or not is a different conversation). As of last year, Chick-fil-A sales are up 17% in the last year following 51 consecutive years of growth to reach $10.5 billion in revenue and 2,400 restaurants. In fact, Chick-fil-A trails only McDonald’s and Starbucks among U.S. restaurant chains.
Do you know what your vision is?
Much of the world is still dealing with pandemic fallout and it’s hard, period. But times like these become even harder when you’re not clear on a vision and maybe even impossible if you don’t stand for it.
Would you be willing to turn down revenue (not to mention anything else) for your vision?
Join me in the #NoMatterWhat Facebook Community where we’ll be talking about the seeming trade-off between your vision and revenue, what it looks like and how to deal with the discomfort of potentially turning down short-term revenue for long-term gain. Standing for that vision #NoMatterWhat might be just what’s needed to achieve success.
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